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There are about 1 sex workers registered in the city—, the majority of whom get involved in the industry to meet their financial needs. Of these, about work the streets while ply their trade independently or at brothels. Young girls are often lured with the promise of a higher income but the risks involved are sometimes more than they bargained for. According to Ladegourdie, Vice Squad members only recently discovered the girl, who was originally from Belhar. He said while they had previously come across her, she had supplied them with a false name and told them she was much older.
Ladegourdie said the girl became a prostitute about two years ago in Bellville and was convicted of theft last year. She was sentenced to a juvenile facility, but after spending three months there she left and returned to work as a prostitute in Bellville.
Ladegourdie said a magistrate had since ordered the girl to return to the juvenile facility in Wellington. She would be allowed to leave when she turned According to Ladegourdie, 1 women and 30 men had been registered over a period of 11 months, ending in March.
A police investigator, who worked on trafficking cases and who declined to be named as he was not permitted to speak to the media, said girls and women who did not necessarily choose to get involved in sex work were often lured into the industry. He said a classic example was brothels advertising as massage parlours and looking to employ young women. They earn a pittance as masseuses. He said because clients constantly wanted new women, if those employed in brothels in the city centre were not servicing enough clients, they were then transferred to less popular brothels.
The investigator said when police raided brothels, officers often did not find any signs of illegal activity as the establishments had plans in place to prepare for raids. He said during operations, officers warned girls what their jobs could lead to and offered to help them leave.